3 Things to Consider Before You Start a Site Redesign (That Aren’t Design)
In this day and age, things move fast. The shape of business and technology can shift as quickly as the dust settles from the previous hot trend. What was once cutting edge can quickly become out of date. There are few places where this is more true than the internet. All it takes is a major update from a new app or a major brand to start a race to jump on the bandwagon and clone the thing that everyone is talking about.
You may be looking at your own app or website and thinking it would be great if it did this or that. Maybe you’d love if it looked more like so-and-so. But, before you hire a web designer or call down to the marketing department, there are a few things you should think about.
What are your goals and what problems are you trying to solve?
Sometimes, your site just needs a fresh look. But, many times the problems go well beyond the surface. Before you start a redesign, you should have a plan. Evaluate what you currently have and compare its performance against your goals. Dig into your data and results to find out what problems a redesign can solve. Maybe you need a new layout even more so (or in addition to) a new design. Once you have a plan you are ready to move on with your project.
Before you can move forward, you need to look to the past
Do you have the content/assets to support you plan
This may be a redesign project, but the design part still won’t come until later. Now that you have a plan, do you have what you need to support it? Revisit your content and make sure it aligns with those goals. If it does not, your next step is to develop that content. Will you need other assets such as images or charts to support your content? If so, work should begin on those too. In order to pull off a successful redesign you’ll need to have the assets required to design with and around. The content and assets, along with the goals, will equip your design and development team with the tools needed to complete your redesign successfully.
Review your operational strategy
Yes, we are talking about operations…in a redesign article…after talking about content. This may seem strange, but a redesign is much more than creating a pretty aesthetic. Once you’ve defined you goals, and created a plan to achieve those goals through appropriate content and assets, it’s time to prepare for the results. For example, if your goal is to increase sales leads, do you have a system in place to handle the (hopefully) influx of requests? Are you ready to track and analyze the success of your redesign? Do you have a CRM in place, a lead nurturing plan, the ability to create and view reports on your metrics? Do you have the ability to support increased phone calls and web chats? Is there a social media strategy to interact with your new potential customers?
A redesign is much more than creating a pretty aesthetic
This may all seem to have nothing to do with a redesign, but that couldn’t be further from reality. To create an effective end-to-end strategy, your redesigned site, tailored to meet your goals, will need to be able to support your operational strategy as well. You’ll need to plan for analytics and tracking goals, incorporating forms to tie into your CRM and integrate chat and call tracking when applicable.
Many times your website is the first impression your business makes. Of course you’d want that to be the best first impression possible, and for many people a redesign is just that. Design. But in reality it’s much more. There are many things to think about before any design is actually done. By taking the time to plan and prepare, your redesign can be a powerful tool towards greater success, instead of an expensive art project.